Nigeria’s Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) have attacked the Federal Government over what they described as ‘renationalisation’ of electricity firms.
They insisted that government, via the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), allegedly has a hand in the failure of the power sector by not “meeting extant guidelines and regulations.”
The Association of Nigerian Electricity Distributors (ANED), an umbrella body of the DisCos, in a statement, claimed that government failed to fulfil a N100 billion subsidy and other privatisation promises made since 2013.
At least, five firms – Abuja DisCo, Benin DisCo, Ibadan DisCo, Kaduna and Kano DisCos – have fallen into the hands of banks they took credit from after being unable to break even eight years after licensing.
The prevailing situation, which comes few days after NERC announced a contract-based electricity market, stakeholders said the development might worsen the industry’s woes, pointing to an alleged breach by BPE and NERC.
Executive Director, Research and Advocacy, Sunday Oduntan, said the utility companies are deeply concerned about the “restructuring” of the five electricity distribution firms, adding that the move “is inconsistent with all the guidelines and processes necessary to comply with the framework of privatisation agreements and the rule of law.”
According to him, resultant outcome of the move has been an expropriation or backdoor renationalisation of the DisCos by the Federal Government.
He went on: “Such renationalisation or expropriation must be viewed through a historical context as necessary for a proper understanding of the performance challenges that the DisCos have been faced with since privatisation.
“Fundamentally, the basis of privatisation was flawed from the beginning, due to conditions that were not met by the Federal Government, while expecting the DisCos to meet their performance obligations. Not only were the investors short-changed because of insufficient and unreliable data that was provided by BPE to them during the privatisation process, but the government also committed to and failed to deliver on DisCos’ debt-free financial books, payment of Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDA) electricity debts and N100 billion subsidy.”
While it said the DisCos take responsibility for some issues, ANED stated that the government also contributed to the challenges. It said the government holds 40% stakes in the DisCos, has representatives on the boards that take operational decisions but the DisCos are blamed for the misalignment in the power sector.
“Expropriation or renationalisation, by itself, of the DisCos will not change the current bleak situation or outlook of the Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” ANED noted.
North East Commission; Group Heads For Court Over Reappointment of Former MD. Mohamed Alkali
…. Exposed How Billion was looted
Crises situations in the North East, might assume another dimension, as the North East Commission statutory established to address humanitarian crisis and infrastructural deficit, as a result of insurgency , is embedded in management crises over the appointment of the management Director.
Just as the Reappointment of Mohammed Alkali Goni, after serving his five years as tenure in office as the managing Director has become a matter of litigations, allegations of mismanagement of resources in the Commission has emerged over the weekend in Abuja .
Addressing newsmen, in Abuja on Saturday, North East pressure Group, said that the appointment of management Staff of the Commission has been politicise to a level where every appointment zone to the North East has been taken over by Borno state
The Coordinator of the group , Dr. Haruna Garus Gololo, a political activist, who led the group in a terse press Statement said that the group will be left with no option than to approach the Court to seek redress , if the concerned authorities failed to address the rot in the Commission.
” We are constraint, to draw the attention of the President and Commander of the Armed Forces, Ahmed Bola Tinubu, to the abuse of the Act. establishing the North East Commission ( NEC), by his Vice president, Senator Kashim Shettima over the statutory appointment of the managing Director of the Commission “
” The Act . clearly defined the procedures and laid down rules on the appointment of the Managing Director upon the approval by the National Assembly, which stipulates five years tenure, it is this act that has been subjected to gross Constitutional abuse with the Reappointment of Alkali, after years in Office ” he said.
Dr. Gololo, also an All progressive Congress ( APC), Chieftain said that
” Since the inceptions of this administration, every Federal appointments meant for North East is being taken to Borno state with impunity .”
Continue, the one coordinator of the All progressive Congress (APC), pointed at the appointment of the Minister of Agriculture and the recent Reappointment of Mohammed Alkali Goni, for another five years as against the Constitutional provisions “
” There are about six states in the North East, Gombe , Bauchi, Yobe and Borno, but all the appointment have been to Borno”
He warned that” we have concluded our investigations using some auditors and discovered the billions of stolen in the Commission, rather than addressing the challenges in North East, the management has become part of the crises because of their desperation to cover up the monumental Corruption”
Gololo, accused the Vice president, Senator Kashim Shettima of the implications of supporting the Reappointment of Alkali, as this may further create another crises in the Commission.
” We are given the presidency only Seven days to reverse the Reappointment of Alkali, because it is the turn of Gombe state, we have competent people in Gombe and Bauchi “
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